It’s safe to say that Fortnite is pretty big right now. Which is why it wasn’t surprising to find Fortnite Trading Cards. This cartoony shooter is basically dominating the Battle Royale genre at the moment.
As with many big-name properties, merchandising is soon to follow initial success. Clothing, accessories, toys, collectable items, and, if they are very, very lucky – trading cards. These rectangular bits of cardboard tend to be big money. Just look at Pokémon cards to see the massive amount of potential trading cards have for making money.
It was very surprising that I found them on my holidays in the sunny Costa Blanca. I came across packets of Fortnight trading cards for €1. Usually, I wouldn’t question the legitimacy of trading cards, especially ones in foil packets. I did them in one of the many Chino shops though. For the uninitiated, there are a high number of massive Chinese warehouse-sized supermarkets across the Costa Blanca in Spain, where an absurdly large amount of slightly dodgy goods can be bought for insanely cheap prices.
Time to trade
As is the case of legitimate cards, these ones came in a foil packet, as I mentioned before. Interestingly, the back of the packet had a short snippet of text that helped to set up the scenario…
“In a land inaccessible to the rest of the world, the premier Dueling high school “Duel Academy” educates promising young Duelists to their full potential. However, little does the school realize that things are about to change with the arrival of the greatest duelist of all…”
To be honest, I have no idea if that bit of lore has any connection to the actual game, but it does seem a pretty generic scenario. Although I guess it’s hard to build lore around a game that sees 100 players drop down into a landmass and shoot each other until there’s 1 person left. In fact, does this trading card game even need a backstory? Probably not.
What was inside?
Anyway! Inside my pack, I found 8 individual cards. I could immediately tell that they were of a much higher quality than the Pokemon trading cards I bought in Spain. The reverse side had a distinctive and rather cool shot of the flying Fortnight bus. The combination of the bright colours and the crisp imagery gave an air of legitimacy, but as I turned them over, my confidence in the cards wavered lightly. While the images on this side shared the same quality as the reverse side, they were covered in a layer of textured shininess. Not that I mind a bit of shininess, but every single card? It made them look tacky.
Regardless, the actual artwork on the cards was well realised. A good variety of characters, accessories and weapons were present, with a damn fine-looking Halloween-themed card being a highlight. Thanos even made an appearance, a fact that I found highly amusing. Luckily, I knew that he had already been featured in Fortnight for a limited time, otherwise, I would have been very confused.
Mechanically, the gameplay seemed quite perplexing. Each card featured a simplified approximation of a hand in the form of either Rock, Paper or Scissors. That part was very self-explanatory but the inclusion of 4-digit Attack and Energy stats just confused things. Another annoying thing was that the front of the cards was portrait, and the reverse was landscape. This is purely an aesthetic choice my Graphic Designer brain just couldn’t agree with.
Overall, those Fortnite cards were pretty impressive. Aside from a few minor details, they seemed pretty legit. As I have done absolutely no research into if they are the real deal, I am struggling to decide whether or not they were actually genuine. As a card game, they didn’t seem to be in the same league as something like Pokemon or Final Fantasy Opus, but for the die-hard Fortnight fan, they would do nicely.